Skip to content

Columnist: Canucks fans should be nervous after team loses for first time in eight games

Apr 6, 2012, 12:58 PM EDT

bieksa angry face Getty Images

Who says Vancouverites overreact whenever the local hockey squadron loses?

/makes riot joke

In today’s Vancouver Province, Jim Jamieson has a piece titled “Canucks nation nervous after ugly 3-2 loss to sputtering Flames.”

Since we realize newspaper writers aren’t responsible for headlines, here’s the lead:

CALGARY — It was the kind of stumble that’s certain to make Canucks Nation a little nervous heading into the playoffs.

The Canucks squandered a chance to put themselves in the driver’s seat for the Presidents’ Trophy here on Thursday, blowing a 1-0 third-period lead en route to a sloppy 3-2 loss to a Flames team that was out of it last week and looked for most of the first two periods like they were ripe for the picking.

Just to clarify, the Canucks went into the Calgary game…

— Riding a seven-game winning streak, one of the longest in franchise history (record is 10.)

— As one of only two teams with 50 wins (Pittsburgh became the third after beating the Rangers.)

— Having already clinched the Northwest Division and a top-two spot in the Western Conference.

— Holding a two-point lead on St. Louis for first in the West.

— Tied with the Rangers in the Presidents’ Trophy race.

Granted, there were a couple of negatives. The Canucks no longer control their own fate for first overall in the league. They also lost the NHL’s longest streak of not losing in regulation after leading after two periods (102 games, 97-0-5).

That said, the piece was written in a week where St. Louis was listless in a 5-2 loss to Columbus; Boston sat out Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron in Ottawa while Chicago scratched Dave Bolland and Andrew Brunette with minor injuries against the Wild.

In other words, it’s not unusual for contenders to take it easy at this point in the season.

What’s ironic about Vancouver is a similar situation happened last year. The Canucks won 12 of 13 to win the Presidents’ Trophy, then went out and laid back-to-back eggs against Edmonton, causing widespread panic throughout the city.

“Right now we don’t have much to play for and it is tough for some of the guys,” Roberto Luongo said at the time, trying to calm the masses. “But we know what we have to do. We need to have a couple good performances to get ready for the playoffs.”

Vancouver then proceeded to make its first Stanley Cup finals appearance in 17 years.

  1. cableguymike - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:04 PM


    Jim Jamieson is one of the worst writers in Vancouver. Up there with Elliott “Pap Smear” Papp and his stupid mustache.

    • velocirapist - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      Gallagher is the worst. He’s great on the radio though, I don’t get it. Brussel sproutsssss

  2. sharksman - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Oh yeah you should be worried canucks fans.
    Gonna finish in first or second OMG the horror !
    As much as I dont like the Canucks this is a joke !
    Is it always this bad up there ?
    Need some better writers, what happened to positive thinking !

    • cableguymike - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      Yes. It is always this bad. Haha. The only way it could be worse is if they hired Steve Rosenbloom and Barry Rozner.

    • davebabychreturns - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      The thing is, the team does have it’s share of homers.. the play-by-play guys are extremely favourable towards the Canucks and beat writers like Jason Botchford will certainly defend the team and players (in articles, on twitter, etc).

      What isn’t present here that seems to be present in many other cities is the willingness to straight up trash opposing teams and players – at least I can’t recall seeing any of that.

      Instead we seem to have two flavours of mainstream Canucks analysis – muckraking jagoffs like Tony Gallagher (who lambaste the coach, the GM, the league and whatever else catches their eye) and the navel gazing worry warts like Jamieson (who are too busy projecting dismay onto Canucks fans to notice just how lucky they are).

  3. govtminion - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    This is a joke, right? Ridiculous.

  4. ballistictrajectory - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Les Canucks gambadent avec les chiens.

  5. atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    I’ll start this off by saying I’mmost certainly not a Canucks fan, but I don’t think the loss last night or the losing streak from a few weeks ago are anything to worry about, the Canucks have had the division and one of the top two spots, wrapped up for awhile so they’re basically playing out the string killing time until the playoffs start. And really in the grand scheme of things the President’s Trophy means nothing.

    The thing that would worry me if I were a Canucks fan (and to a lesser degree a Bruins fan) would be simply will this team run into exhaustion before they can win the Stanley Cup? If the Canucks are to win the cup they’ll have played roughly 214 games in a span of 610 (or so) days, add to that all of the travel that the Canucks have to do every year, I’d just be worried about them having enough left in the tank in order to make that run.

    • homelanddefense - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      the second thing you mentioned is why I dont believe either team makes it. they have played SO MANY extra games over the last two seasons. they are bound to run out of gas

  6. iamanidiotfan - Apr 6, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Even if the Canucks dominated like the 1976 Canadiens (60 wins, 8 losses, 12 ties) they would still cry after every loss and whine about the ties. They could have Ken Dryden in net for the 1976 season, with a record of 41-6-8 and they’d be writing about how the team needs to start Bunny Larocque (19-2-4). “BUNNY had a BETTER win-loss!!!”

    I think they just need to grow a pair and relax.

    • interiorfan - Apr 6, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      I think you need to relax.

      • iamanidiotfan - Apr 6, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        They’re tied for tops in the league with a game to play. I think Canucks media need to relax.

    • kitshky - Apr 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      As much as I hate capitalized comments .. you sir are spot on.

      I can defend the city, I can defend the team, I can even defend most of the fan base up here but there is a vocal minority (i’d like to think/hope?) of absolute morons in this city that will never be satisfied unless they go 98 – 0, Luongo breaks every goaltending record in the books, Kesler makes everyone forget Messier every existed, and the Sedins tie each other for the Hart, Vezina, and the Lady Bing … all while leading the league in PIM’s.

      • dropthepuckeh - Apr 7, 2012 at 8:48 AM

        First round exit is going to be glorious to watch. Congrats on the President’s trophy and individual season awards…..

  7. bigtganks - Apr 6, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    As a huge Canucks fan in Utah an no Vancouver, my concern is the PP is at 12% in 2012. They’re just out of sync an something doesn’t feel right. The second line is awful and our D pairings have been jumbled for a while. There’s not much chemistry with the lines and pairings. My guess is a second round knock out.

  8. bcisleman - Apr 6, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Granted the piece was a little absurd, but there are things for Canuck fans to be worried about. Most of their best players are 30+ and there are no real front line players in their system…certainly none to build a contender around.

    The question Canuck fans have to ask themselves is how many more chances will the current team have to win the Cup before these 30 somethings start to lose their skills and the team needs to undergo a long and painful rebuild?

    On the plus side, these same stars have to realize this too. They have to know that the clock is ticking. For the sake of the Canucks and their fans, hopefully that will be the motivation they need to getg them over the top and hoist the Cup at least once before the rebuild.

    • davebabychreturns - Apr 6, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      The Canucks have two important players over 31, Roberto Luongo and Sami Salo. The Sedins play the type of game that does not rely on the things that tend to cause players to sharply decline in their early mid-30s (explosive speed, a dominant physical game, etc), and neither Bieksa nor Burrows have all that much mileage on them for guys who are 30+. Everyone else on the team is either completely replaceable or still in their 20s.

      Most importantly, the Canucks have what looks to be one of the best GMs in the game – and he has continued to both improve the team’s prospect depth and make the NHL roster younger (for the most part) during his time here.

      To be sure this team has its holes and to be sure it won’t be an elite team every year from now until the end of time – but there’s little reason to believe they won’t continue to make the playoffs and be a Western Conference contender for the forseeable future.

  9. t16rich - Apr 6, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Welcome to the bi polar fan base that is Vancouver. Even the analysts and journalists are fans, which leads to emotions before good reporting.

  10. drewzducks - Apr 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Could give a rats ass about the Nucks but more importantly that is the sweetest jersey in hockey.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1835)
  2. P. Kane (1303)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1282)
  4. M. Richards (1138)
  5. M. Giordano (1121)